Caught the Eye: June 2022 – APS derby & representative trials
IN the latest edition of Caught the Eye, Rookie Me Central draft analyst Ed Pascoe ventured out to watch the latest edition of a famed APS Football derby, while there was also representative action to catch as South Australia took on NSW-ACT.
Many expected the South Australian Under 18s team to win comfortably against NSW-ACT, but in wet and windy conditions it was the Rams who won a low scoring affair, 57 to 33. After a goalless first quarter the game opened up a tad in the second half and although SA missed the likes of Harry Lemmey, Max Michalanney, and Jakob Ryan, the NSW/ACT squad was also missing some important players.
Some of the Croweaters’ better players only played a half, with midfielders Adam D’Aloia, Kobe Ryan and Mattaes Phillipou already firm locks for the main squad. It meant the likes of Jaiden Magor, Nick Sadler and Billy Dowling got the chance to show their wares in the midfield and all showed plenty.
Another player to be managed over a half was midfielder turned defender Tyson Walls, whose move to defence proved a revelation as he was the best player afield in the first half, winning plenty of the ball and creating with his neat skills and work rate. The weather wasn’t great for talls so the likes of Tom Scully and Harry Barnett didn’t have their usual influence, although a nice mark in the second quarter showcased Barnett’s athleticism.
For NSW/ACT it was a very even spread of contributors, with small forward Felix Rogers causing trouble and Oakleigh smalls Angus Curry and Harvey Thomas showing plenty, with Curry moreso in the midfield. Fellow midfielders Angus Anderson and Harry Rowston won plenty of the ball and medium forward Mackinley Miller showed some tricks despite the conditions suiting smaller types.
Meanwhile over in Victoria, a large crowd (made up mostly of rowdy school kids) descended onto the home ground of St Kevin’s in Toorak to watch a gripping contest between the hosts and Xavier College. Despite a third quarter fightback, it was Xavier who pulled away with Essendon father-son prospect Alwyn Davey kicking two last quarter goals to help his side notch a 95 to 60 victory.
Plenty of Oakleigh Chargers prospects impressed, including the most notable in George Wardlaw who was the leading force in St Kevin’s midfield. Although it wasn’t the dominant game you would expect from Wardlaw, he still had plenty of exciting moments which showcased why he is one of the pick one contenders.
For Xavier, Jack O’Sullivan ran rampant in the midfield, winning plenty of clearances and showing his agility and clean hands to escape congestion. He came off injured late in the last quarter but would have had claims for best on ground at that point.
Finally, Davey – who played mostly through the midfield before being moved forward for the majority of the last quarter – sealed the game in style. He had some sensational bits of play throughout the game but on a few occasions couldn’t capitalise on his good work, and this is an area he will look to improve as the year progresses.